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A Tertiary Review on Blockchain and Sustainability with Focus on Sustainable Development Goals
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  • Shanshan Jiang ,
  • Kine Jakobsen ,
  • Jonas Bueie ,
  • Jingyue Li ,
  • Peter Halland Haro
Shanshan Jiang

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Kine Jakobsen
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Jonas Bueie
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Jingyue Li
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Peter Halland Haro
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Blockchain as a disruptive technology and a driver for social change has exhibited great potential to promote sustainable practices and help organizations and governments achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Literature reviews on blockchain and sustainability exist, but they often focus only on topics related to one or a few SDGs. There is a need to consolidate existing results in terms of SDGs and provide a comprehensive overview of the impacts that blockchain technology may have on each SDG. This paper intends to bridge this gap, presenting a tertiary review based on 34 existing literature reviews, to investigate the relationship between blockchain and sustainability in light of SDGs. The method used is a consensus-based expert elicitation with thematic analysis. The findings include a novel and comprehensive mapping of impact-based interlinkage of blockchain and SDGs and a systematic overview of drivers and barriers to adopting blockchain for sustainability. The findings reveal that blockchain can have a positive impact on all 17 SDGs through technological innovations though some negative effects can occur and impede the achievement of certain objectives. 73 positive and 10 negative linkages between blockchain adoption and the 17 SDGs as well as 45 factors that drive or hinder blockchain adoption for the achievement of SDGs have been identified. Research gaps to overcome the barriers and enhance blockchain’s positive impacts have also been identified. The findings may help managers in evaluating the applicability and tradeoffs and policymakers in making supportive measures to facilitate sustainability using blockchain.
2022Published in IEEE Access volume 10 on pages 114975-115006. 10.1109/ACCESS.2022.3217683